Here's the geonews in batch mode, unusually covering 4 weeks, thus a much longer issue.
On the open source / data front:
On the Esri front:
On the Google front:
On the Microsoft front:
Geospatial-related discussions over Slashdot:
In the everything else category:
In the maps category:
Google are not alone looking at augmented reality glasses, Slashdot discusses a story named Microsoft Granted Patent For Augmented Reality Glasses. Previous Google Project Glass stories.
Their summary with link to a BBC article: ""A patent granted to the U.S. tech firm describes how the eyewear could be used to bring up statistics over a wearer's view of a baseball game or details of characters in a play. The newly-released document was filed in May 2011 and is highly detailed. ... Although some have questioned how many people would want to wear such devices, a recent report by Juniper Research indicated that the market for smart glasses and other next-generation wearable tech could be worth $1.5bn by 2014 and would multiply over following years." - Noticeable differences from Google's version: two lenses, a wrist computer, and wires."
Discussed over Slashdot, a story named Minneapolis Police Catalog License Plates and Location Data.
Their summary: "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Minneapolis police used automated scanning technology to log location data for over 800,000 license plates in June alone, with 4.9 million scans having taken place this year. The data includes the date, time, and location where the plate was seen. Worse, it appears this data is compiled and stored for up to a year and is disclosed to anyone who asks for it."
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.
From the open source front:
From the Google front:
Directions Mag articles:
In the miscellaneous category:
In the maps category:
I was away last week, I have a lot of geonews to catch up... I'll try to share them in the coming days.
This story was discussed over Slashdot during the last weekend, Cops' Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Now Better Than GPS.
Their summary: "On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss a proposed bill to limit location tracking of electronic devices without a warrant — what it's calling the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act, or the GPS Act. Ahead of that hearing, University of Pennsylvania computer science professor Matt Blaze submitted written testimony (PDF) telling Congress that phone carriers, as well as the law enforcement agencies with which they share data, can now use phones' proximity to cell towers and other sources of cellular data to track their location as precisely or even more precisely than they can with global positioning satellites. Thanks to the growing density of cell towers and the proliferation of devices like picocells and femtocells that transmit cell signals indoors, even GPS-less phones can be tracked with a high degree of precision and can offer data that GPS can't, like the location of someone inside a building or what floor they're on. With the GPS Act, Congress is considering expanding the ban on warrantless tracking of cars with GPS devices that the Supreme Court decided on in January. Blaze's testimony suggests they need to include non-GPS tracking of cell phones in that ban, a measure law enforcement agencies are strongly resisting."
It's Slashdot that discussed the bad news about Canada Post Files Copyright Lawsuit Over Crowd-sourced Postal Code Database.
Their summary: "Canada Post has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Geolytica, which operates GeoCoder.ca, a website that provides several geocoding services including free access to a crowd-sourced, compiled database of Canadian postal codes. Canada Post argues that it is the exclusive copyright holder of all Canadian postal codes and claims that GeoCoder appropriated the database and made unauthorized reproductions. GeoCoder compiled the postal code database by using crowdsourcing techniques, without any reliance on Canada Post's database, and argues that there can be no copyright on postal codes and thus no infringement (PDF)."
It's not the first time we discuss postal codes data. In 2006, we mentioned the PAGC open source project that geocodes postal addresses. And since 2005 we heard of the global postal codes product from NACGeo, but to my knowledge, it was never really used by anyone (I am wrong?). In 2009 there was news of the U.K. opening up their postal code database.
Two days ago, Slashdot discussed a story named After US v. Jones, FBI Turns Off 3,000 GPS Tracking Devices.
Their summary: "The Supreme Court's recent ruling overturning the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices has caused a 'sea change' inside the U.S. Justice Department, according to FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann. Mr. Weissmann, speaking at a University of San Francisco conference called 'Big Brother in the 21st Century' on Friday, said that the court ruling prompted the FBI to turn off about 3,000 GPS tracking devices that were in use. These devices were often stuck underneath cars to track the movements of the car owners. In U.S. v. Jones, the Supreme Court ruled that using a device to track a car owner without a search warrant violated the law. After the ruling, the FBI had a problem collecting the devices that it had turned off, Mr. Weissmann said. In some cases, he said, the FBI sought court orders to obtain permission to turn the devices on briefly – only in order to locate and retrieve them."
Will this mean less GPS tracking stories in the future?
The Spatial Law and Policy shares an interesting entry named Will A "Geo-Divide" Arise Between Nations In The Future?
The introduction: "The benefits that a ‘location-enabled’ society can provide for economic growth, technological innovation, improved government services and an engaged citizenry are becoming increasingly clear. However it is important to recognize that a healthy geospatial ecosystem needs consistent and transparent laws and policies that support the collection, use, storage, transfer, analysis and display of spatially-enabled data from various public and private sources. Such a legal and policy framework must be broad-based, cutting across both legal domains as well as technology platforms. In the absence of such a framework internationally, I believe we are likely to see a ‘geo-divide’ between nations over the next ten years."
My guess is that access to geospatial technology will be less of a problem than the legal and governmental context.
Slashdot runs a discussion named French Court Calls Free Google Maps Unfair Competition.
Their summary: "A French court has ruled that Google is unfairly subsidizing its free mapping products, making for unfair competition with paid services. This might seem ridiculous, but keep in mind that Google started charging for use of its mapping API once the free version had come to dominate the market."
We of course mentioned last October that Google decided to enforce usage limits for the Google Maps API.
If you're not sick of it already, Slashdot runs another story on GPS monitoring and the law, this time, it's named Supreme Court Rules Warrants Needed for GPS Monitoring.
Their summary: "The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the case of Washington, D.C. nightclub owner Antoine Jones, saying police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects. A federal appeals court in Washington overturned his drug conspiracy conviction because police did not have a warrant when they installed a GPS device on his vehicle and then tracked his movements for a month."